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My mission manual - about Polygamy


Ron

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"The implied assumption in this theory, that there have been more female than male members in the Church is not supported by existing evidence. On the contrary, there seems always to have been more males than females in the Church...The United States census records from 1850 to 1940, and all available Church records, uniformly show a preponderance of males in Utah...This theory is not defensible since there was no surplus of women."- LDS Apostle John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 1960, pages 390-392 (emphasis mine)

Perhaps we are confusing continents. Brigham Young said:

"The equality of the sexes at birth is often referred to as an argument against polygamy, but "Mormons" say, people do not marry when they are born, they marry about the age of twenty-one, and at that age, in large communities, owing to the fact that it is far harder to rear a boy than a girl, and the ravages of war and accidents to which men are so much exposed, the males at that age are outnumbered by hundreds of thousands in all the big cities of Europe, as statistics have shown.  These hundreds of thousands of women must stifle the passions given by God to humanity out of their natures, or indulge those passions criminally.  there is no alternative, as Congress blocks the way to double marriage, if they were so disposed.  Perhaps it is criminal in the "Mormons," but it appears to them it would be preferable to see a hundred thousand men with two wives each, than that same hundred thousand with only one, and the spare hundred thousand women left to lives of foulest infamy and die deaths of shame."Brigham Young Millenial Star v.27 p. 675

Anyone have statistics on the male to female ration in the major cities of Europe at this time?

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Oh also Juliann... :P

My comment about women working was in response to a statement quoted in the original, opening post...

Back in this period of time, women did not hold down jobs as they do in today's world.

My impression was that many women did indeed work during that time. I think the documentation provided by t-shirt speaks to this.

<_<

~dancer~

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Oh also Juliann... :P

My comment about women working was in response to a statement quoted in the original, opening post...

Back in this period of time, women did not hold down jobs as they do in today's world.

My impression was that many women did indeed work during that time. I think the documentation provided by t-shirt speaks to this.

<_<

~dancer~

Weren't the women of that time in charge of the family garden and farm animals back then? I am sure a lot of their time was spent with the day to day responsibilities of keeping the farm running smoothly and making sure everyone had clothes and food to eat. It wasn't like today where you go to Walmart to buy clothes or the grocery store to buy food.

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It is my belief that there have been people throughout this world who have helped the needy, without the need to marry those folks. It is my observation that various societies have given charity to those unable to care for themselves and did not felt a need to marry those in need.

Again...so what? This is your "belief"? Fine. Now provide some data and relate it to the discussion somehow. Are Mormons allowed to state their "belief" here unchallenged?

I don't really think this needs documentation (IOW, I don't think anyone would disagree with this observation) but I will give the Bible as an example... it seems to me that there were commandments/teachings to help the poor, afflicted, needy and yet there is no mention of needing to marry those folks in order to help them.

Then I guess I say anything about polygamy and it doesn't need documentation? Something tells me no...like past experience. As for your Bible example, let's just say you proved my point. Of course the Bible sets up marriages for that purpose. It even had a name :P

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Weren't the women of that time in charge of the family garden and farm animals back then? I am sure a lot of their time was spent with the day to day responsibilities of keeping the farm running smoothly and making sure everyone had clothes and food to eat. It wasn't like today where you go to Walmart to buy clothes or the grocery store to buy food.

They also were in need of cash...just as anyone would be today. Kathryn Daynes discusses this and the typical jobs they did in her book I referenced.

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Hi Juliann... :ph34r:

I wrote,

(truth dancer @ Jun 11 2005, 09:24 AM)

It is my belief that there have been people throughout this world who have helped the needy, without the need to marry those folks. It is my observation that various societies have given charity to those unable to care for themselves and did not felt a need to marry those in need.

You responded...

Again...so what? This is your "belief"? Fine. Now provide some data and relate it to the discussion somehow. Are Mormons allowed to state their "belief" here unchallenged?

I wrote...

I don't really think this needs documentation (IOW, I don't think anyone would disagree with this observation)
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Oh also... in terms of the Bible... I was asserting it is not a commandment to MARRY the poor, afflicted, needy, handicapped in order to help them. If you disagree perhaps you could document where it IS a commandment to help the poor, needy and afflicted. I have read the Bible several times and do not recall such a commandment. <_<

:P Men were to marry their brothers wives. Come on. You are so off-topic here it is ridiculous. Like I said...so what? Here we go again. You don't like polygamy. You have said it. And said it. And said it and said it. Again. And over again. In every thread. At every point. And now we get speeches about this? You haven't even read the OT.

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Hi Juliann... <_<

Men were to marry their brothers wives. Come on. You are so off-topic here it is ridiculous. Like I said...so what? Here we go again. You don't like polygamy. You have said it. And said it. And said it and said it. Again. And over again. In every thread. At every point. And now we get speeches about this? You haven't even read the OT.

You seem to not understand my point. It was not off topic at all... it was in response to the original quote in the opening thread suggesting that one purpose of polygamy was because women could not survive without being married.

Again... my point is that one doesn't need to marry those who are sick, afflicted, handicapped, needy, or whatever to assist them.

Other groups/people/societies have been/are able to help those who needed help without marrying the needy.

The fact that men could marry their deceased brothers wives has nothing to do with my point whatsoever. The point being one is not required to marry someone to help them. But you are right this is beside the point.... :P

What is it with which you disagree here Juliann? Are you suggesting that people DO need to marry those they help? Did the saints not help anyone unless they were married to them? What is it you want documented? I'm trying to understand your perspective but am really not sure of your point.

:unsure:

~dancer~

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Juliann,

I have followed the comments that yourself and Truth Dancer have exchanged. It seems that TD's point is clearly relevant and easily understood. You of course need not share her opinion, but it seems as if you have confused and drawn out the simplest of statements unnecessarily.

Watching this unfold from someone who is part of administration is a bit unexpected. :P

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Actually, this suggests that the vast majority of single women were working.  I don't think anyone would suggest it was easy to live whether married or not.  My impression is that life was quite difficult for pretty much everyone.

I don't know how you get that. I suppose I should have posted additional statistics, but I thought it was obvious, but for your sake I will.

First of all, in the list I posted, "Keeping House" was the term census takers used for "house wife" or "stay at home mom" or "does not work outside the home". So if you take another look of the list, only 36 of 128 single women, who lived away from their parents had jobs. The more important statistic is that there were over 42,000 single women in the state, yet all but 128 of them lived with their parents (and only 36 of those had jobs). Why do you think that was?

Of the 365 widows with children, none of them had jobs.

These statistics very clearly point out that women generally did not have oportunities to work and support themselves.

I will check the data regarding married women working outside the home on Monday and report back.

T-Shirt

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I am sure the silver mines around Park City probably added more men than women to the census.

You are right, I have data on that as well, which I don't have with me right now. But there were several mining towns, such as Park City and Frisco where the men far outnumbered the women. Logic would suggest that the vast majority of these men were not LDS.

T-Shirt

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I have followed the comments that yourself and Truth Dancer have exchanged. It seems that TD's point is clearly relevant and easily understood. You of course need not share her opinion, but it seems as if you have confused and drawn out the simplest of statements unnecessarily.

Juliann, engage in such behavior????? Unimaginable!

:P

This whole line of questioning has entered the realm of the bizarre. Believers asking for proof that early LDS would actually take care of the widows and orphaned children, even if they weren't married off to another man.

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I am sure the silver mines around Park City probably added more men than women to the census.

You are right, I have data on that as well, which I don't have with me right now. But there were several mining towns, such as Park City and Frisco where the men far outnumbered the women. Logic would suggest that the vast majority of these men were not LDS.

T-Shirt

There were several mining towns in 1880 Utah, at least 25. I picked four of the largest mining towns, Frisco, Park City, Silver and Bingham, and found that combined, they had 3,214 males and 1796 females for a total of 36% female.

I then contrasted that with four similar sized, predominantly Mormon towns, Provo, Brigham City, St. George and Manti. Combined, these towns had 4,198 males and 4,543 females for a total of 52% female.

T-Shirt

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Hi T-shirt... <_<

Ok.. lets see...

So if you take another look of the list, only 36 of 128 single women, who lived away from their parents had jobs. The more important statistic is that there were over 42,000 single women in the state, yet all but 128 of them lived with their parents (and only 36 of those had jobs). Why do you think that was?

This actually speaks to my point.

Of the 42,000 (assuming this figure is accurate) single women all but 128 lived with their parents...

My point is.... women who were single were not cast out and left to die. They did not have to be married to survive.

There were means to take care of single women EVEN IF THEY WERE NOT MARRIED. Whether parents supported their single daughters or whether they had jobs isn't really the point. The point is, it wasn't like women would die if they didn't marry polygamously.

I COULD BE WRONG HERE.. but my impression is that pioneer life was very difficult. People worked together and helped one another survive and manage a very difficult existence.

I'm not an expert on stats... I have seen stats that suggest the figures you have posted are not accurate but I won't debate you cause I don't have the stats handy... and it is difficult to understand all the dynamics. (Actually I think I did post them at one time but I'm not sure I could find them... ) but either way... my opinion is that EVERYONE had to work in some form or another... Children often worked. Grandparents worked. Single people worked. My impression is that no one just sat around watching the grass grow... :P

If your point is that women didn't live on their own with great jobs I would agree. But from my understanding it seems like pretty much everyone did something to help out!

Just how I see it...

:unsure:

~dancer~

Also, quite some time ago on ZLMB someone posted a stat of how many men were married to how many women... it was VERY interesting...anyone remember that?

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Hi T-shirt...    <_<

Ok.. lets see...

So if you take another look of the list, only 36 of 128 single women, who lived away from their parents had jobs. The more important statistic is that there were over 42,000 single women in the state, yet all but 128 of them lived with their parents (and only 36 of those had jobs). Why do you think that was?

This actually speaks to my point.

Your first point was this:

This is completely false.
It would have been impossible for a single woman to support herself financially.

Many women were not supported at all by their polygamous husbands.

Many women did indeed work because they HAD to to support themselves and their children.

Which I believe to have shown to be unsupportable.

Of the 42,000 (assuming this figure is accurate) single women all but 128 lived with their parents...

My point is.... women who were single were not cast out and left to die. They did not have to be married to survive.

I don't think anyone suggested anything of the sort.

There were means to take care of single women EVEN IF THEY WERE NOT MARRIED.
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Hi TD! <_< Good points!

Giving the stats the benefit of the doubt--with communications, transportation and literacy being in their rather lowly/slowly state of being--i think it fair to not take them holus-bolus.

Then as now, how many would be working "under-the-table" or in "day-labour" as maids, kitchen-help, bar-maids, taking-in laundry and/or boarders, etc? Some might have preferred being in the oldest-profession to being wife # XYZ? That also seemed an accepted alternative in the OT.

Seems interesting that what "we" did 'then', is so abhorrent when "they" do it 'now'?

Realistically, it is really expecting too much to have more than apologetics' justification of the Polygamy issue, as of the Priesthood to all males question. Like, the answers are in 'The Hand Book' eh. :P

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Hi T-shirt...

I think I understand the confusion... I was not very clear... I wrote,

Many women were not supported at all by their polygamous husbands.

Many women did indeed work because they HAD to to support themselves and their children.

I was suggesting that EVEN (some/many) women who were in polygamous relationships had to work to support themselves and their children because it was difficult (impossible) for a man to support several families.

I'm not suggesting that most women could easily support a large family with children... I'm saying that my impression is that most women worked in some form regardless of marital status.

So I really have two points... first, just because a woman was married didn't mean she didn't have to work or that she was supported by her husband. And secondly, women didn't have to be married to survive.

Does that make more sense?

Sorry I was not more clear... thank you for asking and discussing!

:P

~dancer~

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Oh also t-shirt...

Forgot to answer your last question.. <_<

I read once actual figures of how many men had how many wives... for example.. (I'm making these numbers up just to give an example)

100 men had 2 wives

75 men had 3 wives

50 men had 4 wives

25 men had 5 wives

etc, etc, etc,

It gave a good approximation of how polygamy played out.

I will try to find them but I'm not so good on the ZLMB search thing.... :P

~dancer~

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Statistics can be a wonderful thing...

First, the top poster on this thread quotes a missionary manual that states 2-3% of Mormon men were polygamists, and that there were more women than men in the 19th century church.

He then rants about the lies, LIES! in that manual, and then restates the truth, as he knows it (cribbed off of some virulently hostile anti-Mormon websites, no doubt, with the real truth twisted almost beyond recognition, but we won't go there...).

Then someone else posts statistics contradicting the above, quoting Bro. Widtsoe and getting really upset when someone ELSE calls Widtsoe's statistics nonsense, because, as anyone can see, these are Census reports including everybody and not just righteous Mormon families (Utah had riff-raff frontier people, too).

Again, we get contradictory evidence, from Susan Easton Black, and from a FAIR website, pointing both directions.

Finally, we get a quote of Abanes telling us it was 12-15% (or 20-25%) of Mormon families were involved in polygamy, thus refuting once and for all the 2-3% number quoted above.

But wait a minute...

The 2-3% figure counted Mormon males, while the 12-15% number counted Mormon adults (both sexes). These are not comparable stats, folks, and while the 2-3% number may be low, it is probably not as far off as our scandalized thread starter seems to believe.

So before accusing somebody of lying, LYING! maybe you should look around a little more. Its not so hard. (And you won't need to accuse your mission leaders of deliberate deception, either.)

I recommend reading "How to Lie with Statistics", a fine volume that all of us should be familiar with.

Beowulf

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